(b Saint-Nazaire, 17 Jan 1875; d Joué-lès-Tours, 11 May 1950). French tenor. Originally a blacksmith by trade, he studied with Albert Vaguet at the Paris Conservatoire and made his début at the Opéra as Samson in 1900. The following year he sang in the première of Camille Saint-Saëns's Les barbares, and he remained with the company until 1905. Until 1919 he was a favourite at Monte Carlo, where he appeared first in La damnation de Faust; premières there included Pietro Mascagni's Amica, Saint-Saëns's L’ancêtre and Gabriel Fauré's Pénélope. His début at the Metropolitan in Roméo et Juliette in 1906 coincided with that of Geraldine Farrar, who received more attention; his dramatic skill was appreciated but the power of his voice, sometimes strident, suggested that he should turn to more heroic roles. This he did on his return to France, adding Otello, Lohengrin, Siegfried and Parsifal to his repertory. He also appeared in Berlin, Buenos Aires and Milan, and in his later years sang mostly at the Opéra-Comique where in 1913 he created the title role in Gustave Charpentier's Julien. His varied repertory is well represented in recordings made between 1903 and 1926: his voice is strong and clearly defined, his style authoritative in declamation and well mannered in more lyrical music.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.